You might be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits if a severe illness or injury prevents you from working to support yourself. A Marysville Social Security Disability lawyer can help you go after benefits that can help you make ends meet. Social Security Disability benefits are available through two different programs. Although the Social Security Administration (SSA) administers both programs, there are separate requirements to qualify for each plan.
The Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program is for disabled workers who contributed to the Social Security system through payroll deductions. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is for disabled people who did not accumulate enough work credits to qualify for SSDI benefits. People who receive SSI must have a very low income and few financial resources.
You can call Berger and Green today at (412) 661-1400 to get started.
How to Qualify for Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) Benefits
The Social Security Administration (SSA) will evaluate four factors to determine whether you meet the requirements to receive Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) benefits. These elements include work credits, your income from work, the severity of your medical condition, and your ability to work.
Work Credits Explained
If you worked at a job that paid into the Social Security system, your employer deducted your Social Security taxes from your paychecks. The Social Security taxes that you paid throughout your working life can make you eligible for both Social Security Disability and retirement benefits.
Usually, a person needs at least 20 work credits to qualify for SSDI. Ten years of working at a job that pays Social Security taxes can get you the required number of credits. You can earn up to four credits per year.
People who become disabled very early in their careers often do not have 40 work credits. The SSA does not require as many work credits for younger workers because they have not had as much time as older employees to accumulate these credits.
Income Limit for SSDI
No matter how severe your medical condition is, if you somehow can earn more than the income limit, the Social Security Administration will deny your application for SSDI benefits.
The monthly earnings limit for 2020 is $2,110 if statutorily blind, and $1,260 if non-blind. Since SSA assumes that people can live on that amount of money, it will determine that you are not disabled.
Asset Limits and SSDI
The rules that govern eligibility for SSDI do not place a limit on the amount of financial resources you can have. The other Social Security Disability benefits program, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), does restrict the amount of assets a person can have.
The Severity of Your Illness of Injury
The Social Security Administration does not want to pay benefits to people who experience minor injuries or illnesses from which they can recover and go back to work. To qualify for SSDI benefits, usually, your medical condition must last for at least one year.
Also, your disease or injury could meet the medical severity test found in the Listing of Impairments, also called the Blue Book. The Blue Book provides objective criteria to evaluate hundreds of medical conditions in every part or system of the body.
Your Ability to Work
Finally, the SSA will explore whether you can continue to perform your current (or any previous) job. If you cannot do so, the evaluators will look at whether you can use your existing skills, education, or experience to perform a similar or related job. Depending on your age, you might have to get additional education or vocational training.
A Marysville Social Security Disability lawyer at Berger and Green can walk you through the application and appeals process. You can call us today at (412) 661-1400 for a free consultation.
For a free legal consultation with a lawyer serving Marysville, call 412-219-5084
Eligibility Factors for Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
If you do not have the required number of work credits, you still might be able to get limited financial assistance from the government. SSI does not pay as much as SSDI, but it can prevent a person from becoming destitute, particularly when combined with other public benefits programs.
The Disability Requirement
For the purposes of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) eligibility, the Social Security Administration uses the same criteria for disability as it does with SSDI applicants. You must have a severe medical condition that makes you unable to support yourself through gainful employment. You must be unable to perform any type of work, not just your most recent position.
Asset Limits and SSI
The Social Security Administration limits the amount of financial resources a person can have when receiving an SSI check. The SSA does not count every type of asset toward this limit, though. For example, your house, car, clothing, household goods, and burial plot usually do not count. The financial resources limit for SSI is $2,000 per person and $3,000 per couple.
How Your Income Impacts Your SSI Check
The SSA does not count all of your income when calculating the amount of your SSI check. Your countable income, however, will reduce the amount of your SSI benefits. The maximum SSI check is less than $800 a month.
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Getting Help with Your Social Security Disability Claim
Even though you have bills piling up today, it can take many months of battling bureaucracy before the first Social Security Disability benefits check arrives. Most people have to file at least one appeal before they receive their assistance. The Social Security Administration denies the vast majority of first-time applications.
Working with a Marysville Social Security Disability lawyer can help. At Berger and Green, our clients receive personalized and attentive legal services. You will not feel as if you were a number with us. You are already going through a difficult time. Your lawyer should be part of the solution, not part of the problem.
When we handle your Social Security Disability claim, you get to focus on your health and wellbeing. You can call us today at (412) 661-1400 for a free consultation.